FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. – A brief pursuit involving deputies and a motorcyclist ended in a dangerous crash that sent two people to the hospital on Sunday around 11 a.m., witnesses said.
Authorities did not immediately release the name of the motorcyclist, but friends identified him as Joey Pinheiro. Florida Highway Patrol later confirmed 21-year-old Pinheiro of North Fort Myers was the driver involved.
Pinheiro was driving fast down San Carlos Boulevard before the crash, authorities said. He had just tried to avoid a traffic stop before he approached the light on San Carlos Boulevard near the foot of the bridge leading to Fort Myers Beach, according to FHP.
A woman, Barb Meyer, and dozens of other people were waiting for that light to change when they witnessed the crash. Meyer said she was in a right lane.
“We were ready to turn right and all of a sudden a motorcycle flew through the intersection and hit the black car,” she said. “The young man that was on the motorcycle flew off and flew about 80 feet that way.”
The impact from the crash left the motorcycle mangled and Pinheiro’s helmet was seen resting against the curb among a mess of shattered glass.
Meyer joined a group that ran to help the man. They were about to call police when Myer said she heard sirens approaching.
Pinheiro was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, FHP said.
The driver of the car he hit, 58-year-old Denise Vodola of Fort Myers, was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Pinheiro is in fair condition at Lee Memorial Hospital, a nursing supervisor said on Sunday.